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Welfare Effects of Privatizing Public Education When Human Capital Investments Are Risky

  • Fabian Kindermann

In an overlapping-generations model with risky human capital investment, borrowing constraints, and intergenerational transmission of abilities, I examine the effects of a change from publicly to privately funded college education. I find that from this reform, college graduates are better off compared to other workers since the college wage premium increases by around 50 percent. The reform deteriorates aggregate efficiency by (i) enforcing liquidity constraints, (ii) abolishing public insurance provision against educational risk, and (iii) increasing utility costs of college education via intergenerational spillovers. A success-dependent student loan system can offset efficiency losses but fails to generate efficiency gains.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/666524
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/666524
Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Human Capital.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 87 - 123

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/666524
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JHC/

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  1. James Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Explaining Rising Wage Inequality: Explanations With A Dynamic General Equilibrium Model of Labor Earnings With Heterogeneous Agents," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(1), pages 1-58, January.
  2. Tauchen, George & Hussey, Robert, 1991. "Quadrature-Based Methods for Obtaining Approximate Solutions to Nonlinear Asset Pricing Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 371-96, March.
  3. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  4. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1991. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 263-86, April.
  5. Akyol, Ahmet & Athreya, Kartik, 2005. "Risky higher education and subsidies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 979-1023, June.
  6. Hubert Strauss & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2009. "The wage premium on tertiary education: New estimates for 21 OECD countries," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2009(1), pages 1-29.
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